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WikiTunneling means to build a bridge between two or more wikis that use different languages but share topics. The term "tunneling" is used in analogy to the quantum mechanical effect: the large energy needed for a transition (over a steep mountain of a potential surface) is reduced by going through a shortcut tunnel.

The large energy transition is the transfer of wiki knowledge (communication culture) of one language (English) to another (German). The German Wiki is the DseWiki, the targeted wikis are WardsWiki and MeatballWiki [this was in 2001]. Starting with November 2003, the Gr├╝nderWiki will provide a better place for wiki and online community topics, which always created a TargetGroup problem with software developers.

The tunneling is done by

So German authors are not forced to completely reinvent the communication culture in their language, but have a rich environment to learn from.

If this experiment succeeds, it should shorten the time for growing German wiki communities considerably.

Typical tunneling pages:

Note that the shortcut will only work in one direction. The German Wiki will learn from the English Wikis, but not the other way round. Reasons: about 10-30% of the German readers will know enough English to explore the referenced pages on their own, even if they will rarely contribute. But English readers would hate to have additional references to a German Wiki on their pages, because the chance that they are able to use it is probably <1%.

One example in the other direction:

Simple translations will be rare. Usually tunneling pages will try to extract the essence and be a roadmap for a group of pages.

-- HelmutLeitner


Use on-the-fly babelfish or better translators as link on the wiki, or provide this hint at the editpage. See http://xarch.tu-graz.ac.at/autocad/wiki6/OnlineTranslators for a live sample of simple page translation with babelfish. (http://www.freetranslation.com/ and e.Lingo seem to be much better.) --ReiniUrban

Here's a BookMarklet? that I find useful:


It uses Google's translation service to automatically translate the current page into English. It sits in my personal toolbar and gets frequent use. It can be easily modified to translate to other languages. --StephenGilbert

WikiPedia is experimenting with WikiTunneling. The WikiPedia software has language-based InterWiki links; a person types the two letter language code and the article name on the other language encyclopedia (e.g., [[fr:article name]]). A language bar then provides links to the articles in different languages. --StephenGilbert


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